how the world sees america

If You've Got HIV, America Doesn't Want You

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London - "I have HIV," Biagio, a bartender at Escape in Soho tells me, so "I can't ever visit America." He's right, unless he puts his anti-retroviral drugs in unlabeled bottles and hopes immigration control doesn't stop him.

A 1993 law bans all HIV-positive would-be visitors from coming to the U.S. except under special circumstances. The law was put on the books at a time when HIV wasn't well understood and paranoia ran high. It's lingered for over a decade now, leaving people like Biagio and his friends feeling like toxins. Biagio tried to visit Los Angeles a year ago; it would be his first visit to the U.S. But his travel agency warned him not to risk it.

As a UK citizen, he doesn't need a visa to come to America for 90 days or less, but, if caught at customs with HIV-related medication, he could be forced to turn around and head home. "It's ridiculous," Biagio says.

He hasn't encountered this restriction anywhere on his travels throughout Europe so far. And it feeds into a broader view he has of the U.S. as a homophobic state that bans gay unions and ostracizes gays and lesbians in many parts of the country. "It's 18th century" behavior, he tells me. The law was implemented when greater stigma was attached to the disease -- especially regarding gay men -- and he interprets this current law as a perpetuation of that by some.

Biagio has been bartending for fourteen years. He began in Naples, Italy when he was fifteen before coming to London to learn English. Five years ago he was diagnosed, and his life changed, oddly, "very much for the better; I started taking care of myself, stopped taking drugs...Of course it'd be better if this had not happened, but..." he's still living his life to the fullest.

Over the past few months there's been serious reconsideration of America's HIV visitor policy. In December Bush talked about re-working it, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies put out a report in March calling for substantial changes to the law. Biagio isn't holding his breath. There are other places and things to see, and he loves it just where he is in Soho "serving drinks with passion" and "putting a smile on people's faces."

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Comments (57)

What do we think in France:

I'm so hurt by this article. In France we don't have such law, and I was thinking that France wasn't a great country. Anybody POZ can enter France without discrimination, or asking his serology status. And certainly mostly C.E.
America didn't want to import AIDS in its country while America was the first country in the 80's to export it to the other countries. I got POZ by an american while he was visiting Paris in 1989. My first sex. I was 19. Is the US going to pay for my treatments? No, it's not their problem?
Today I wanted to visit the US, I guess I won't. My status is private. Doctors in France can't share information about your serology. It's against the law. So why I would have to say I'm HIV+ to a country that is not mine, for security purpose? Do they think I'm a little boys raper, or going to give it to american people? Is America going to be safer? My friend just came back from Florida. There's no SAFE SEX there at all. My friend got shocked. As soon as he was meeting somebody, he didn't want to use any condoms. So why the american government doesn't stop its own people to spread the virus to the other countries, because they are american they can? In this case it should work both ways. "We don't want our people contaminate other foreign people".
It's all about homophobia, as what was Germany before WWII. What has your "great" savor president done in 8 years, put your country deeply down to the bottom: economically, morally, humanity. And he still think he's done a great mandate. I don't want to get stressed out before to pass the border, I don't want to get treated like an animal while I"m passing the border. September 11 attacks are just an excuse to hate a group of people, and isolate yourself from the rest of the world. I love the US, don't make me wrong. But such article and posts make me feel really bad.

Mike:

From Encyclopedia Britannica: Draconian
also spelled Dracon Athenian lawgiver whose harsh legal code punished both trivial and serious crimes in Athens with death.

Just noticed a tad bit of hyperbole by some posters.

The U.S. wanting to keep people with communicable diseases out of the country is draconian? homophobic?

Sheeez.

Americans R. Stoopid:

there sure are a lot of idiots on this board. here's a clue - you've stood next to people with hiv/aids. you didn't know it, because you can't tell who has it. you didn't get it, BECAUSE IT'S NOT AN AIRBORNE ILLNESS.

morons.

American:

As others have pointed out, the law banning HIV+ visitors to the US dates back to a time when the disease was not fully understood by the public. At that time it was still, unfortunately, politically beneficial to be anti-gay, so Congress pushed this rule through to court conservative voters and soccer moms who didn't want to think of the possibility of some homosexual foreigner with a blood disease coming in contact with their children.

Now it's just an anachronism that reflects the persistent religion-izing of American politics. Despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that their own marital infidelity rate is just as high as anyone else's, conservative politicians STILL find it politically advantageous to discriminate against and stand in the way of anyone who seeks to take responsibility for their own sexual behavior - be it by refusing to allow HIV+ status to keep you from traveling, or by wanting a Plan B contraceptive option, or formally marrying a same-sex life partner.

So even though the medical community and our own executive branch would rather focus on immediate public health threats like TB, measles outbreaks, and Hepatitis A (can be spread by food handlers, a common occupation among low-income recent immigrants), Congress has not chosen to risk conservative voters' support by changing the rule - they don't want to look soft on people who some voters believe have gotten God's punishment for their behavior. One might expect the Democratic Congress to have a different approach, but this does not seem to be an issue on their radar screen. And we would not want to add another layer of controversy to the mess that already is the proposed immigration legislation.

(Point of fact, by the way - there are exceptions to the ban on HIV+ travelers to the US. The State Dept, in conjunction w/ the Dept. of Health & Human Services and DHS, gives waivers for people on humanitarian and public benefit grounds - like when they are attending a UN conference on AIDS, for instance, or going to the Gay Games.)

Mitchelle:

AIDS is a transnational disease that immigration can try to solve but will not make America or any other country safer from the epidemic -- what happens to American citizens who leave the country and contract the disease -- do we not allow them back? what happens when someone enters customs without ARV in their bags -- should we make a requirement that everyone goes for a medical test to determine if they are healthy enough? Come on people -- lets be a little more realistic here.

Ann:

I'm a womand and a LIBERAL (gasp of shock from all the right -wing neanderthals that assume if one has socailly liberal views, that one automatically approves of al sorts o ditzy things.)

HIV? Sorry, no entry.

TB? Sorry, no entry.

Cholera? Sorry, no entry.

Leprosy? Sorry, no entry.

All are communicable diseases that can be passed from one person to another. We don't need to graitoutously allow any more vectors of possible infection than we have now.

The interviewee can just quit whining. His country for years and years and years made it impossible for me to travel there because I relied upon a Service Dog because they were scared out of their minds about the 1 in 100,000,000,000 chance of a Service Dog having rabies! They still make it etremely difficult with complicated forms,last minute health exams for the dog and retricting us only to one or two airlines that happen to fly directly to one airport.

The interviewee has about a 100,000,000,000,000 times better chance of infecting someone in this country with HIV if he came to visit than my dog ever does of infecting nayone with rabies.

Amar C. Bakshi:

Hi PLH, The question is whether HIV deserves to be separated out on the basis of costs and safety, or whether stigma is involved. It seems though that both parties are moving toward changing the current policy. Thanks for the post. I'm off to bed but will be up in four or five hours and will check back. Appreciate the discussion and hope to have clarified a few things.

reader:

the US government sponsors international visitors from Africa and other countries, where HIV and AIDS predominantly affect heterosexuals. I believe that they do sponsor HIV positive people into the US for training and conferences, and depending on the length of stay, I believe will not allow them if their T cell count is above a certain level (or if they have full blown AIDS) and it's likely that they will get sick in the US and want to overstay their visas for treatment. Perhaps this is one of the "special circumstances" alluded to in the article.

plh:

I do not see how this is homophobia, like other posters. Both men and have it. Another poster stated it was a draconian law? many other OECD countries have similar laws, as well. Yet, somehow the US should just let anyone in no matter what. Sometimes I think people-particularly the media--use words like nazi and homophobic just to get press.

capitol hill:

Sadly the ignorant discussion that followed this post more or less proved that the law is both homophobic and imbecilic. I can only hope that the comments of these xenophobic red state fear filled nannies don't represent most of America. Shame shame shame.

Fleur de Lys:

chgomec: "the gay community was hit so hard in the 80s and a huge push within the community for awareness and protection was pushed that individuals in the gay community are so much more aware of the risks and prevention than those in the straight community."

Just a reminder: In Quebec (Canada), HIV renowned specialist Dr. Réjean Thomas (himself gay and catering primarily to the gay community in Quebec since the beginning) has pointed out repeatedly in the media that since the inception of tritherapy, protection had dwindled so much, in the gay community, that one could now consider that people in that community were often literally "irresponsible". It is just as though tritherapy had sent to the gay community the following message: HIV is no longer a life threatening disease, it can be cured. Needless to say, Dr. Thomas does not endorse that message.

Everett, in Sterling:

If everyone would learn how to practice safe sex, as they should, the HIV status of their partner, becomes irrelavent. Shame on those who continue to want to put that responsibility on someone else. It's as simple as driving defensively.

ORL:

chgomec writes: "Let's hope that most HIV+ individuals have the wherewithal to inform their potential sexual partner of this before engaging in any activity and from there it's about individual responsibility."

Only one question: On matters of public health, should a responsible government adopt laws and regulations based only on a "let's hope that..."?

Amar C. Bakshi:

Hi Ryan, Biagio doesn't need a visa to come to the U.S. nor the EU. It's just that he can be stopped should ARV drugs be found on him in the U.S. EU laws vary, as I understand. Here's a list of restrictions to look through:
http://www.aidsmap.com/en/docs/C92D5639-E779-44EC-B8F8-0CECCC23275A.asp

Amar C. Bakshi:

Hey there, The point of this blog entry was that this 1993 law -- enforced at a point where we still knew relatively little about the disease, and it carried a great stigma -- raised a big flag for Biagio of older days; the policy is still on the books and is worthy of reconsideration. From a number of people I spoke to in Soho, the stigma the disease still carries is representative of larger suspicion of the LBGT community in the U.S. The points you all raise below, however, that HIV is largest in the heterosexual communities is absolutely correct, and I by no means want to imply this is a "gay disease" -- just that old stigmas persist, and so come reactions to and concersn about them. The U.S. and its citizens (like Bill Gates) lead the world combatting the spread of HIV/AIDS, and have a deep understanding of the disease and how it is transmitted. A policy that reflects that understanding, as of 2007, not 1993, is worth considering. I think this is Biagio's key point, and I hope I've helped to clarify that better in this text. Looking forward to the continuing debate.

Just to introduce the project for those of you who are new, each day I'm interviewing a different person or community about their perceptions of the United States -- nad posting text and video from the interaction. It's a lot for a day, so the idea is to give readers a snapshot into the look and feel of diverse places -- UK now, India and Pakistan next.

I spent today with a community of young Muslim men from Walthamstow, where fourteen of the nineteen terrorists arrested in the airplane plot came from. Their discussion was really interesting, linking back to an earlier post on the meaning of democracy to them. It'll be up soon.

rcvinson:

Let us keep America safe: ban HIV+ visitors and stop Americans from visiting countries that have HIV+ citizens. I feel safer and more isolated, already!

Anonymous:

Wow - some serious ignorance here. So many posters are acting as if HIV were an airborn illness, and as if someone's mere presence is a risk. That's depressing.

And that cited Almanac source must have been dated from the early 80s. 25 years later straight people with HIV WAY outnumber gay people with the disease.

FunTravelAdventure:

Who in their right mind would let someone with AIDS into the United States for 90 seconds no less 90 days.
Strictly enforce this and all visa/immigration laws, we'll have a better country for it.

fred:

Do we really need to risk having HIV positive foreigners pass this disease along to ANYONE in this country so this clown can visit LA? If ONE person is spared this disease through this law, it is worth it and should be enforced. By supporting positions like this and immigration amnesty, the libs are setting themselves up for a Hillary Clinton whooping in 2008 because mainstream America understands how crazy this is. And if this law is overturned, I hope this guy gives the HIV to one of your sons or daughters. Then we'll see if you change your tune...

YOU DON'T KNOW ME:

Mr. Amar,
As to your "article", it disappoints in that it fails to prove its very premise, namely that the policy against admiting HIV+ immigrants is based on homophobia. Mr. Biagio [an illegal immigrant if he is at all making money from his bartending as he is not allowed to work in the U.S.] whose comments and experience you use as the basis for your "article" does not have to come to U.S. if he feels our immigration policies are "homophobic".

C-man:

What an incredibly stupid and neanderthal policy! The US has more HIV patients than most countries in the world and we have the nerve to restrict travel INTO our country by people who are HIV positive?! What about the Americans (such as myself) who are poz and travel to other countries?? Does the U.S. care about them? What about American citizens who were infected abroad and return to the US? Does it make any difference that this HIV Positive person is a US citizen? NO! This policy is rooted in homophobia and outdated science. A person flying around with Tuberculosis is a far greater threat than any HIV positive traveller. Of course, we know how that situation was handled!

european:

First: UK is outside the Schengen's Countries (so actually everyone have a custom and and pass control there when traveling from any capital in europe to London! IS the Schengen treaty that regulates the visum and travel rules moreover not every EU has signed the Schengen ...)

Second: Westtern europeans countries do not have any restrictions on Hiv+ tourist travels
And stop playing being marthyrs!
Yes US discriminate HIV+ tourist, noone is blaming is just talking about facts

chgomec:

This is the silliest statement I've ever heard. So someone coming to see Times Square, got on TV at Rockefeller plaza during the Today show, maybe grab lunch at Macy's, see a broadway show, and hang out with family or friends for a week should NOT be allowed to come into our country because they have HIV???? A lot of my fellow Americans truly are complete idiots!


You stated:

I'm failing to see the point here. How exactly is this homophobia? I don't care whether an infected person got the disease from a man or a woman. They don't need entry to our country. From a biological standpoint it just makes sense. We can do this liberal bleeding-heart stuff all day long, but in the end, you just can't let diseased individuals into your country without consequence.

kennedy:

I'm failing to see the point here. How exactly is this homophobia? I don't care whether an infected person got the disease from a man or a woman. They don't need entry to our country. From a biological standpoint it just makes sense. We can do this liberal bleeding-heart stuff all day long, but in the end, you just can't let diseased individuals into your country without consequence.

Matthew K:

Being HIV positive doesn't just exclude foreign tourists, or illegal aliens, it is grounds for deportation for anyone who's not a US citizen.

Foreigners who have been in the U.S. legally for years and become HIV positive are instantly subject to deportation.

This is a draconian law from a time of prejudice and misunderstanding about HIV. It's high time it should be changed.

Tim Tyler:

There is a lot of mis-information in the previous comments and I think it is a good idea to set the facts straight.

First, the article is primarily talking about restrictions against tourists (e.g. those planning to stay in a country less that 3 months). In this case the US is only one of about 15 countries worldwide that restrict travel to HIV + people (China and Iran are two of the others). Canada does not restrict travel for these types of visitors (as was stated by one commentor) and neither does any European countries with the exception of the UK (which doesn't specifically restrict HIV + people, but reserves the right to give a medical exam to people who obviously are not in good health).

The last commenter put it well when he said the US really can only control visitors who have HIV medication with them - meaning that the people being restricted are the ones least likely to spread the disease to someone else. Those who do not know they are positive or are not taking medications really cannot be restricted.

Michael:

Ummm, HIV is a retro virus, such that every new host changes it. This is why it is hard to treat. So world travel can possibly exacerbate and already deadly problem by introducing different (and possible drug resistant) versions of this disease. And people can't be counted on to think in the best interest of others, Mr. XDR TB proved that one.

Oh, and more Africans have HIV than there are homosexuals on the planet so let's be real here on this whole homophobia thing. If you get this it's really bad and your life changes. You can't do everything that you once could and it looks like travel is one of thoes things.

gc:

Vaporland hit it right on the head. The U.S. government isn't trying to protect its citizens from foreign visitors with HIV; it's trying to protect our public heath care system from having to pay for HIV+ foreigners who outstay their visas and are in the country illegally. Ergo, this misguided policy is yet another consequence (albeit indirect) of our broken immigration policies. BTW, as an HIV+ man, I have traveled throughout Europe without incident.

Dublin Traveler:

I'd just like to point out that this rule only applies to people with HIV who are taking medication. If you do not know whether you are HIV+, then you can't have the medication which is the only way the US (or any other country) could know you have HIV. If you have it but don't take medication (for whatever reason), then the US can't possibly know if you have it unless you tell them.

This seems to me that it isn't doing a great deal to protect the population because it is only keeping out those who know they are HIV+and who take medication for it.

Tony Nelson:

Is this really in the Post? Please tell me that didn't get printed and waste trees.

vaporland:

The rationale for prohibiting AIDS patients from coming to the US was that they would be a financial burden on public health resources if / when they begin to exhibit late term symptoms of infection and need hospitalization and medical care.

chgomec:

To EP THORN

The ban on blood donations from homosexuals is pure homophobia and was just upheld recently by the government. Trying to find the news article on it now, but it was only a week or two ago that the government decided to continue to do this despite recommendations by the American Red Cross and other private blood 'takers.'

EP Thorn:

Saying that the difference between the 18,000 cases among homosexuals and 13,000 from heterosexuals is 'not that big' is only sensible if the two groups are equal. The homosexual community is significantly smaller than the heterosexual community and therefore this difference is quite significant. That said, it would make sense to allow blood donation as testing occurs anyway; I wonder if this is the result of other blood born pathogens or if it is just a relic of when HIV was still barely understood.

chgomec:

And how is paying for sex (meaning it is anonymous with someone you don't know who might be having a lot of sex with other people) any different from the straight football jock (or straight horny male) having anonymous sex with different girls every night (and he doesn't know his status?

Fuji:

I guess my point was this: Why is the author complaining about US HOMOPHOBIA when we've been told over and over that HIV/AIDS is a global threat and not just specific to one demographic group?

If the author could show that the US is keeping out only HIV-infected gay men or women, then maybe there is some homophobia. But he doesn't, and there probably isn't.

Sorry for the triple post.

chgomec:

And that is ridiculous as well considering blood is tested prior to being used.

YOU STATED:
You're also not allowed to donate blood if you:
have paid/been paid for sex or have had sex with someone who paid/was paid for sex or have had sex with someone who had sex with someone who has paid/been paid for sex.

Anonymous:

You're also not allowed to donate blood if you:
have paid/been paid for sex or have had sex with someone who paid/was paid for sex or have had sex with someone who had sex with someone who has paid/been paid for sex.

BigDaddyDC:

Humm, the government should only do what you cannot do for yourself. Protection against HIV is a personal conduct issue. So I would let folks come into the country, for it is not spread like TB. People have to have share blood or bodily fluids, that is not like sneezing or breathing on another, without their knowing.

So the government needent protect you from that which you can easily protect yourself.

Open the US borders to those living with HIV.

BigDaddyDC:

Humm, the government should only do what you cannot do for yourself. Protection against HIV is a personal conduct issue. So I would let folks come into the country, for it is not spread like TB. People have to have share blood or bodily fluids, that is not like sneezing or breathing on another, without their knowing.

So the government needent protect you from that which you can easily protect yourself.

Open the US borders to those living with HIV.

BigDaddyDC:

Humm, the government should only do what you cannot do for yourself. Protection against HIV is a personal conduct issue. So I would let folks come into the country, for it is not spread like TB. People have to have share blood or bodily fluids, that is not like sneezing or breating on another, without their knowing.

So the government needent protect you from that which you can easily protect yourself.

Open the US borders to those living with HIV.

Ryan:

Amar, what's up with the slanted reporting? How about telling us how many other countries have and don't have this restriction?

Moreover, your implication that Europe does NOT have this restriction simply because Biagio has no trouble travelling in Europe is absurd. Of course, he doesn't have trouble travelling in Europe -- it's the E.U.!!! Once you're in, you can travel among all the E.U. countries without undergoing a customs check. So, the question is: Why WOULD you expect Biagio to be stopped from travelling from the U.K. to other E.U. countries?

Really, this is just stupid and slanted. Perhaps you should have explained to Biagio the realities of the situation.

chgomec:

Another ridiculous notion brought up by another anonymous poster. First, I'd like to know the exact website of the World Almanac and Book of facts where the information was obtained because often these numbers are shown as "individuals infected by HIV" and they are totaling number since the epidemic was first 'realized.' Of course it will be higher for gays since unfortunately the epidemic began there. Do a more in-depth search and look at year to year numbers by category and see if that holds true. You'll see a decrease in the percentage as compared to the straight population. In 2005 alone 18,000 cases were reported in the gay community and 13,000 in the heterosexual community. NOT that big of a difference, my friend. It's so riduculous to ridicule a group because they are the 'highest' percent infected. Someone has to be the 'highest' at some point.

Your comment about telling these people to stop their behavior is ridiculous. So gay people should stop having sex because there's a higher risk of HIV than for straight people? Ridiculous! Once the straight population surpasses the gay population in infectious cases, I'd like to hear your thoughts about telling straight people to stop having sex. Purely dense. I'm guessing you're an american who can't think any further than the first degree of things without any analytical thought to any notion; you're simply repeating sound bites from the TV.

good call:

I agree with the other posters who have stated that inviting even more cases of HIV into the country is not a good idea. Why do we want more disease in here, why is America not allowed to stand up for itself and have some standards regarding what type of elements and conditions we want in this country. Wash. post is so left leaning that it never presents a balanced report on any imigration, whether it's illegal immigration or immigration/visting that's restricted for other reasons. It's no surprise that WP posted yet another sob story and ignored the common sense behind the decision to not invite more disease into this country.

chgomec:

To respond to "Ananymous" and the question of the prevelance of HIV in the gay community...let's first follow your logic. If we should ban homosexuals from donating blood because it is most prevelant in the gay community, should we also ban all blacks (straight or gay) from donating blood because that is the group with the highest number of infected cases? (Source: CDC) Oops, if we eliminate them, then all whites become the most prevelant group. Let's eliminate them now (straight or gay). Hispanics are next...

If you do some research over the last number of years to about the last decade, you'll note that the rate per year of non-gay individuals becoming infected with HIV is actually higher than gays. Why? Because the gay community was hit so hard in the 80s and a huge push within the community for awareness and protection was pushed that individuals in the gay community are so much more aware of the risks and prevention than those in the straight community. HIV and discussions around the topic are very commonplace among individuals (and sexual partners) compared to their straight counterparts. Many gays (as responsible sexually active adults) get tested every 6 months to find out their status. When was the last time you've heard straight individuals talk about getting tested regularly (despite the fact that they are sexually active as well--and also at risk of HIV)?

caveman:

For years I had a barber who was HIV+, and all my friends asked if I was afraid to get a hair cut by him and he wasnt gay. I told them he was just cutting my hair and we were not passing body fluids. A few months later I was taking class that had a lot of people from Latin America, one of the classmates had T.B. I was one of 3 people who got it. I never even sat near this person, just in the same room. You tell me which is easier to pass ?

caveman:

For years I had a barber who was HIV+, and all my friends asked if I was afraid to get a hair cut by him and he wasnt gay. I told them he was just cutting my hair and we were not passing body fluids. A few months later I was taking class that had a lot of people from Latin America, one of the classmates had T.B. I was one of 3 people who got it. I never even sat near this person, just in the same room. You tell me which is easier to pass ?

Anonymous:

Interesting - homosexuals make a great effort to tell us that AIDS affects us all. Why is it then that 85-90 percent(source:World Almanac and book of facts) of AIDS cases are homosexuals, prostitutes, and IV drug users? Since it was first discovered, AIDS has always affected homosexual men significantly more than any other group. Why do we keep pretending that behavior isn't a factor in contraction? Doesn't it seem ridiculous to persecute those(people and nations) who consider these behaviors to be unacceptable? Maybe we ought to consider telling people to not get involved in these behaviors - wouldn't that be a neat way to reduce the risk...

Anonymous:

These restrictions would actually help to reduce EVERYONE'S chances of contracting HIV. That includes heterosexuals and homosexuals. That is the whole point, to minimize exposure for all. I agree with itsagreatday and RVR; this is poor journalism.

chgomec:

While I agree that the article tries to link the restriction against HIV positive individuals with homosexuals (and that is wrong), I don't agree that the link with TB or other infectious diseases is a correct one. TB and other infectious diseases can be spread through daily contact (being in the same room as someone else); in other words, AIR. HIV cannot be spread that way. Let's hope that most HIV+ individuals have the wherewithal to inform their potential sexual partner of this before engaging in any activity and from there it's about individual responsibility.

Second, and more importantly, let's bring the question of US (yes US) policies against HIV and HOMOSEXUALS to the foreground and talk about where they DO discriminate: example, blood donations. As a previous commenter mentions, HIV can be contracted by ANYONE today, gay or straight. Why, then, does the government agency in charge of blood donations (the name escapes me) continue to support banning homosexuals from donating blood? First, blood is tested when donated. Second, there are probably many more straight unknowingly infected individuals in our population (who also probably donate blood) than there are gay individuals who don't know their status. There is some homophobia that can be blamed on the US!

Mickey:

Most countries in the world refuse to grant entry to HIV-positive visitors, not only the United States.

If European countries (or any country in the world) refuse entry to HIV-positive Americans, then why should the United States grant entry to HIV-positive Europeans? Of course not.

Anonymous:

If HIV is "NOT a homosexual disease" as Fuji informed us three times above, then why are you NOT allowed to donate blood if you're a man and have ever slept with a man or a woman who's slept with a man that slept with another man? I understand that you can get it other ways, but is it not still most prevalent in the homosexual community?

itsagreatday:

Well, ridiculous as it seems, most countries offer the same visa conditions. The article omits that information. Poor reporting - not at all objective, Amar.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/brochures/brochures_1229.html

"HIV/HIV TESTING: An increasing number of countries have established regulations regarding HIV testing, particularly for long-term visitors. Although many are listed here, check with the Embassy or Consulate of the country that you plan to visit to verify if this is a requirement for entry."

Angola, ARuba, Bahrain, Belize, Bolivia, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, Bulgaria, Canada, CEntral African Republic, People's Republic of China, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Hungary, India, etc etc.

I personally think it's a silly and discriminating law. HIV/AIDS is present in every corner of the world so this sort of thing doesn't protect anyone.

rvr:

This bartender is a complete idiot and uninformed at best. First stop blaming the US for all your and world problems. Maybe if you had not been doing drugs you would not be HIV positive. There are restrictions in many countries including N. Ireland and even Canada. Being HIV positive does not mean it was contracted via homosexual activities. So you are basically stating that if you have HIV, you are a homosexual, which makes you homophobic. There is a restriction on people who may have HIV, the restriction is not againts homosexuals. Most intelligent people understand that HIV can be contracted through other means.
One of the governments top duties is to protect it's citizens, and that is exactly what restrictions are in place for. They are also in place for other conditions such as TB.
The US under President Bush has the strongest records of any president in donating money to Africa for HIV studies and cures. And guess what it's not just for homesexual Africans.
There are many countries that are againts civil unions and gay marriages, so why don't you critize one of them. I guess it's the "cool" thing to critized the US. The states of the US are autonomous, that means that the citizens of each state can vote whether to allow civil unions. This is called Democracy. Try being homesexual in Iran or Iraq and see what happens
In the US homosexual men and women are sucessfull and lead meaningful, productive lives. They can adopt children, live wherevere they want, work where they want and play where they want. There are more openly gay communities then I can count.
There will always be those people who are intolereant of others, this is human nature, not American Nature. Just look at some of the countries in Europe, where Muslims are openly discriminated againts. Remember the riots in France.

Anonymous:

Don't we also have restrictions against people entering the country with TB and other infectious diseases?

Fuji:

Hasn't the GLBT community been telling us for years that HIV is NOT a homosexual disease?

Fuji:

Hasn't the GLBT community been telling us for years that HIV is NOT a homosexual disease?

Anonymous:

Hasn't the GLBT community been telling us for years that HIV is NOT a homosexual disease?

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